Spinel gems are getting hot, and the
attention is well deserved. It is a wonderful natural gem. Of all the gems we
handle, this one is my personal favorite. The photo of the sapphire blue colored
trillion spinel shown below is featured on our Home
Page. I recently saw where a Chinese gem dealer is using our photo, and
apparently thinks it is an outstanding example of sapphire.
Spinel Gems Are Real is the title,
and the thrust of the 2008 article. That article stresses the fact that
these gems are natural and beautiful. Natural is important for a gemstone.
Synthetic spinel has been produced commercially for more than 150 years. The
chemical makeup of synthetic spinel is the same as the natural gem (that's what
makes it a synthetic, rather than an artificial stone) but it just is not a gem.
I also talked about how many large rubies and
sapphires in important collections and crown jewels are actually spinels.
Spinel gems are getting hot because they
have become better known and appreciated lately, and prices are rising with
this new-found popularity and demand. I've seen prices of $1000 per carat
Because spinel is a favorite gem, I've
been buying them for 30 years. Yes, I've sold many, but not as many as we've
bought. I've bought them as rough to have cut, and I've bought them already
faceted. Let me know what size, shape, and color you are interested in.
I just may have it in stock.
Spinel gems in red, burgundy, pink, blue,
teal, lavender, and various shades... and some that change color are
available. What shape do you like? I have rounds, ovals, cushions, squares,
trillions, and pears. Weights range from .15 carat to 5+ carats.
Color change spinel rough is still not
available, but I bought some cut stones a few years ago, and have a few
left. As with other color change gems, they appear as a different color
when seen in incandescent light and fluorescent light.
and rare, spinel appealed to Mr. Yavorskyy for its translucence,
brilliance and kaleidoscopic range of colors. Excluding green and
yellow, it comes in almost every shade imaginable, including
metallic gray, hot pink and an exceptionally rare cobalt blue,
although it is most often associated with a bright red hue, much
may explain why, for centuries, the two were considered doppelgängers
— in antiquity, spinel was known as balas ruby, derived from the
word Badakhshan. The stone appears in the world’s greatest gem
collections, often a victim of mistaken identity.
170-carat Black Prince’s Ruby, a centerpiece of the British Crown
Jewels, is, in fact, a red spinel octahedron, most likely from the
mines of Badakhshan. So is the 352.5-carat Timur Ruby in the British
the centuries, spinel lost its cachet. Why it started to fall from
favor remains unclear, but the real killer came in 1847, when the
French chemist Jacques-Joseph Ebelmen first synthesized spinel,
paving the way for it to be used in signet rings as a cheap
substitute for ruby and aquamarine.
Spinel natural gems are about color, and
colors. The variety of colors are impressive. The purity and saturation of
colors is also outstanding. Saturated sapphire blues and ruby reds vie with
soft pastel hues in desirability.
All gems shown here are top VVS clarity.
Top - A very lively blue spinel oval
from Tanzania. It measures 10
x 6.9 x 6.5 mm deep. It weighs 3.68 carats, and is priced at only
$40 per carat.
Next - The AZGem sapphire blue trillion gem. We sold
this stone to a lucky buyer many years ago.
Next - A color change spinel under different light
sources. This square emerald cut gem measures 7.8 x 7.8 x 5.5 mm deep.
Weight is 4.19 carats. Make an offer on this rare gem.
Next - An intense blue oval spinel mounted in a (925
fine) silver ring mounting. The total ring weight is over 13 carats.
Ring size 7. Only $45 for the piece.
- A 2.25 noble red spinel oval. This particular gem is sold... but the photo was
Lower - Pink spinel ovals mounted in
stylish (925 fine) silver earring mountings. Featured item price, $60.
A Google search using keywords such as spinel hardness or
famous spinel gems can return some very interesting
information and websites.
Readers have requested that I offer a special deal on a
different gem in each newsletter. As you can see from this month's special
offer, I've now been asked to sometimes feature an easily affordable finished
jewelry piece in silver. So I secured a few select pieces. Ask, I'll try to deliver.
We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough
worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.
This month's featured item is a matched pair of pink spinel
gems mounted in 925 fine silver earrings. I only have the one pair.
Post earrings for pierced
ears. Settings are .925 (Sterling) silver.
Approximately 18 mm x 16 mm, 31 carats total weight
For those who missed out on the April
special, I now have received several matched pairs from the cutter. The
April feature was a matched pair of flawless and colorless (white) zircons,
the recognized natural substitute for diamonds.
Gem Industry News
JCK Las Vegas 2011
The re-invented JCK Vas Vegas jewelry trade show is happening June 3 to 6, at
a new and exciting location. The Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center is
the new home for this important show.
Show officials speak proudly of the:
New location and facilities
Re-organized show floor
New technology to help you find exhibitors
We will not be able to attend this first year of the new JCK Show. Family
events must take precedence. For those of you attending, let me know what you
to the JCK Show is the Gem and Lapidary Dealers Association (GLDA) gem
and jewelry show at the Mirage. Show dates are May 30 - June 2)
is a time for planning. Budgeting, inventory, sources and designs are all
planning basics. Do you also consider larger questions?
How do I keep my customers business... how do I keep them excited about my
jewelry designs and prices, and happy with my personal service? How do I attract
Plan now to keep your business growing.
Day is coming. This can be good summertime sales opportunity.
You just have to work at it a little.